MedStar Union Memorial Improves Cardiac Catheterization Procedure with New Device

Makes Procedure More Comfortable, Even Easier to Recover From

BALTIMORE—(November 5, 2018)—MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, part of the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, has become the first hospital in the state of Maryland to use a cardiac catheterization device that allows for a smaller entry into the artery in the wrist, leading to a faster and more comfortable recovery from the common procedure.

MedStar Union Memorial is one of only four hospitals in the country that currently use the device, which received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in June.

The move cements MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s status as a regional leader in offering transradial cardiac catheterizations, in which the coronary system is accessed through the radial artery in the wrist. The approach is considered the most advanced, but has been slow to be adopted elsewhere because of the additional training surgeons must undergo.

“The bottom line is that with this new device, cardiac catheterization patients will recover even more quickly and be able to go home and relax,” said Dr. John Wang, chief of the cardiac catheterization lab. “We are proud to lead the region in transradial catheterizations that are now done with the most advanced techniques available.”

The new device eliminates the need for a sheath to help guide the catheter into the radial artery, resulting in an access hole in the artery that is 20 percent smaller. Patients will be able to recover and go home even sooner. So far, surgeons at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital have performed several dozen procedures with the new device.

In 2010, Dr. Wang became the first physician in the state to widely adopt the transradial technique. Now, nearly 90-percent of the hospital’s cardiac catheterization procedures are done transradially, a rate that leads the Mid-Atlantic region and is more than twice as high as the national average. In September 2017, MedStar Union Memorial opened the radial lounge, a relaxing space where patients who have just had the procedure can move around, eat snacks or watch TV for a few hours before going home.

Cardiac catheterizations are used to diagnose and treat blood vessel blockages. Traditionally, surgeons access the cardiac system through the femoral artery in the groin. While patients who have the traditional procedure done must lay flat for hours, transradial catheterization patients can sit up and move around. The transradial approach also minimizes the risk of arterial bleeding.

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About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region’s top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the largest hand center in the world, focused on the treatment of the hand and upper extremities; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Sports Medicine, which includes the oldest hospital based sports medicine program in Maryland (founded in 1979).  In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Cardiac Team at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital Performs Successful MitraClip Procedure

Procedure in Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair is First for the Hospital

BALTIMORE—A team at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute in September successfully clipped together the two flaps of a patient’s leaky mitral value using the MitraClip, a device that may soon be approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in many more patients.

The MitraClip offers a way to repair a mitral valve without open heart surgery.  The device is implanted by accessing the patient’s heart through a vein in their groin.

“This is just one of many transformational technologies that MedStar Union Memorial is now able to offer patients,” said John C. Wang, MD, chief of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at MedStar Union Memorial and scientific director for Baltimore Cardiovascular Research. “We have patients that did not have surgical options and are now able to give them a new lease on life.”

Mitral valve regurgitation happens when the heart’s mitral valve doesn’t close tightly, allowing blood to flow backward into the heart. In severe cases left untreated, it can cause heart failure or heart arrhythmias. Symptoms include heart murmur, fatigue and shortness of breath.

In the 50-minute procedure performed Sept. 26, surgeons went in through the 79-year-old patient’s groin and through the inferior vena cava before clipping together the leaflets of the leaky mitral valve using the tiny MitraClip. The patient recovered well, went home the next day and was back at work within a few days.

Harold Dwin, the patient, said he was pleased with the outcome of the procedure and his recovery. He lived with a heart murmur for years before he found himself struggling on a hike at high altitude while on vacation in Idaho. When he returned from the trip, he was diagnosed with severe mitral valve regurgitation and sought out the heart specialists at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.

“It changed my life enormously,” he said. “I had a serious heart condition that could have been fatal to me eventually.”

Many patients with mitral valve regurgitation are treated with open heart surgery; however some cannot undergo the procedure for various reasons. In Dwin’s case, surgeons thought open heart surgery might disrupt the six cardiac bypasses he had placed a couple decades ago. In those cases, the MitraClip is the less invasive option.

The MitraClip is currently approved for use in patients with degenerative mitral regurgitation. In September, researchers reported in a large clinical trial that the device was very effective in patients with another type of mitral valve problem – functional mitral regurgitation. Far more patients have functional mitral regurgitation than the degenerative type, and the study is expected to lead to FDA approval for the device in patients with the functional type of the disease.

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About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region’s top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the largest hand center in the world, focused on the treatment of the hand and upper extremities; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Sports Medicine, which includes the oldest hospital based sports medicine program in Maryland (founded in 1979).  In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

MedStar Health to Host Innovative Approaches To Heart Care Webcast

BALTIMORE—(June 26, 2018)—MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute will host the Innovative Approaches To Heart Care webcast on Wednesday, June 27 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hosted by WBAL TV 11 News’ Megan Pringle, the forum will be broadcast on Facebook Live and feature top cardiovascular doctors and surgeons.

Viewers and audience members will hear from Drs. John Wang, Nauman Siddiqi and Antony Kaliyadan about cardiac catheterization performed through the wrist, or transradially, and why it is safer and more comfortable than traditional catheterization performed by accessing arteries through the groin. The audience will hear from a patient who had both a traditional cardiac catheterization and a transradial cardiac catheterization, who is in a unique position to compare the two approaches.

In the second part of the webcast, beginning at 7:35 p.m., Drs. Michael Fiocco, John Wang and Momina Mastoor will discuss structural issues of the heart, focusing on conditions such as valve disease and aortic stenosis.

The event will be streamed from MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s transradial recovery lounge, a comfortable waiting area with snacks and entertainment for patients who have undergone a transradial cardiac catheterization. The lounge opened in September 2017. The webcast will offer viewers the chance to see the lounge, which looks more like a hotel lobby rather than a hospital recovery area.

Nearly 90 percent of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s cardiac catheterization procedures are done transradially, a rate that leads the Mid-Atlantic region and is more than twice as high as the national average. The transradial approach to cardiac catheterization was first performed at MedStar Union Memorial in 2010 when Dr. John Wang became the first physician in the state to widely adopt this advanced technique.

To participate in the webcast, viewers can log on to MedStarHeart.org/Webcast to watch streaming video and chat live with the experts. Participants also can follow the event on Facebook and on Twitter, by using the hashtag #AskMedStar.

Meet the panelists:

John Wang, MD, MSc, FACC, FSCAI: Dr. Wang is chief of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. He specializes in complex angioplasty, chronic total occlusions, and trans-radial cardiac catheterizations. Dr. Wang is board-certified in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine. Widely published in his field, Dr. Wang has been principal investigator or sub-investigator on more than 20 studies.

Nauman Siddiqi, MD, FSCAI, FACC: Dr. Siddiqi is an interventional cardiologist who holds two board certifications in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology. He is fellowship trained in interventional cardiology and cardiology and holds a masters degree in epidemiology. His professional interests include aortic and mitral valvuloplasty; transcatheter aortic valve replacement; the WATCHMAN device implantation, transradial cardiac catheterization; percutaneous coronary intervention, inclusive of pericardiocentesis; atrial septal defect; and patent foramen ovale closure, myocardial biopsy, and rotational atherectomy.

Antony Kaliyadan, MD: Dr. Kaliyadan is a fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist who holds certifications in cardiovascular disease, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and vascular imaging. Dr. Kaliyadan's interests and expertise includes complex coronary interventions, atherectomy, coronary imaging, and circulatory support devices. He also has a special interest in peripheral interventions and structural heart procedures including TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), PFO (patent foramen ovale) closure, ASD (atrial septal defect) closure, mitral valvuloplasty, etc.

Michael Fiocco, MD: Dr. Fiocco is chief of cardiovascular surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. He is board certified in cardiac, general and thoracic surgery. Dr. Fiocco specializes in providing care for people with artery disease, valvular disease, and aortic aneurysm. His heart care expertise has earned him recognition by Baltimore magazine as a Top Doctor in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2017. Dr. Fiocco and his team specialize in beating heart surgery, which allows surgeons to operate without temporarily stopping the heart during surgery. This type of surgery helps reduce complications that can occur when the heart is stopped.

Momina Mastoor, MD: Momina Mastoor, MD, is an active member of MedStar's Structural Heart Disease program, Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory, and runs the Structural Heart Clinic at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. She is board certified in cardiovascular disease, and echocardiography. Dr. Mastoor’s focus is on echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography including interventional echocardiography, a technology that allows physicians and interventional cardiologists to diagnose and treat structural heart disease. This includes conditions like mitral regurgitation, mitral stenosis, aortic stenosis, atrial septal defect, and PFOs (hole in the heart ).  She also provides TEE guidance during WATCHMAN device placement procedures as well as percutaneous closure procedures for patients with patent foramen ovale (PFO) and atrial septal defect (ASD).

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]


Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute Expands Robotic Surgery Program

BALTIMORE—(June 19, 2018)—MedStar Orthopaedic Institute added spine surgery to its portfolio of advanced surgical robotics last week when Dr. Paul Asdourian, co-director of the spine program, used a revolutionary robotic guidance and navigation system at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, to perform lumbar decompression and fusion surgery on a 67-year old woman.

In a five-hour procedure, Dr. Asdourian used a 3-D, GPS guidance system with a rigid robotic arm to help orient placement of instruments and spine implants along a guided pathway. Robotic navigation provided continuous visualization and feedback during the placement of the fusion hardware.

“This is technology we are truly proud to offer our patients who require complex spine surgery,” said Dr. Asdourian. “Robotic surgery of the spine is one of the most significant advancements I have witnessed in 30 years of practice.”

In some cases, robotic surgery can be performed in a less invasive manner, which means less trauma to the muscles of the spine, smaller incisions, potentially shorter hospital stays and less risk of tissue damage and nerve injury.

Since 2017, MedStar Union Memorial has offered patients robotic technology for hip and knee replacements, ensuring precise and customized placement of the joint implants. Surgeons there have more experience using the robotic technology for joint replacement than any other orthopaedic program in the state, and MedStar Union Memorial is the only hospital using robotics for both joint replacement and spine surgery. 

About MedStar Orthopaedic Institute

In Central Maryland, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute combines the skill and expertise of more than 80 physicians at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, The Curtis National Hand Center, and more than 20 community locations, giving you convenient access to the area's top orthopaedic, spine and sports medicine care. Our physicians treat the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Baltimore Blast, Baltimore Brigade, US Lacrosse, and the majority of collegiate, high school and recreational teams in the region. Visit MedStarOrtho.org or call 877-34-ORTHO for an appointment.

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics, and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high-quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the largest hand center in the world, focused on the treatment of the hand and upper extremities; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Sports Medicine, which includes the oldest hospital-based sports medicine program in Maryland (founded in 1979). In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]


Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

MedStar Health’s Baltimore Hospitals to Offer Free Narcan Training

BALTIMORE—(June 6, 2018)—MedStar Health’s three Baltimore City hospitals will offer free trainings in August to teach community members, employees and others who want to learn how to administer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, known as Narcan.

The free trainings, offered in partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department, will be held in August on the campuses of MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor, and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals. Attendees learn how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose, as well as deploy the life-saving treatment during such an emergent event.

Overdose deaths related to heroin, fentanyl, and other opioids reached a record high in the first nine months of 2017, according to the latest available state data. In Baltimore, 523 people overdosed between January and September, 80 more than the year before.

MedStar Health’s hospitals are committed to fighting the opioid epidemic. The free trainings follow a successful effort to screen patients for substance abuse in the emergency rooms and primary care clinics of MedStar Health’s four Baltimore area hospitals – MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Harbor Hospital. If patients are determined to be at risk for substance abuse, they are referred to a peer recovery coach and connected with resources to help them. The program, called Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment program or SBIRT, has helped connect more than 3,600 patients to substance abuse treatment.

“Baltimore City is clearly the epicenter of the opioid epidemic, and we feel a responsibility as a community organization to join with the city health department to prepare people to recognize an overdose event and use the medication to reverse it appropriately,” said Ryan B. Moran, the director of community health for MedStar Health’s three city hospitals. “We’re all in this fight together. We all need to do what we can to change the trajectory of this crisis.”

Free trainings, open to the public:

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
Hospital Address: 5601 Loch Raven Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21239
Conference Room / Building: Parker 4
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Time: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
Hospital Address: 201 E University Pkwy, Baltimore, MD 21218
Conference Room / Building: UM Conference Center
Date: Monday, August 6, 2018
Time: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

MedStar Harbor Hospital
Hospital Address: 3001 S Hanover St, Baltimore, MD 21225
Conference Room / Building: Baum Auditorium
Date: Monday, August 13, 2018
Time: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

To register, call 855-218-2435.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]


Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

Shoulder Replacement Program First in Maryland to Earn the Joint Commission Certification

BALTIMORE, Md.—(March 16, 2018)—In a first for the state of Maryland, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s shoulder and elbow program, part of MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, has earned The Joint Commission’s advanced subspecialty certification in shoulder replacement surgery.

The certification is the latest honor for MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, which is ranked Top 10 in the nation for the number of shoulder replacement procedures. Clinicians at the institute also perform more shoulder replacement procedures than anywhere else in the Baltimore region for those suffering from arthritis, trauma or other conditions.

“MedStar Orthopaedic Institute has long been a leader in shoulder surgery, allowing patients greater mobility and function, and returning them to an active life without pain,” said Stuart B. Bell, MD, vice president of medical affairs for MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. “To be recognized for our quality program by The Joint Commission is truly a proud achievement.”

Anand Murthi, MD, chief of shoulder and elbow surgery at MedStar Union Memorial said the certification affirms patients acquire excellent care at the highest level of technology and physician expertise.

“The TJC certification means that our shoulder service has passed the requirements of high volume, low to nonexistent infection rate and excellent outcomes in shoulder replacement surgery,” Dr. Murthi said. “Our physicians, nurses, and therapists all make up this outstanding team.”

MedStar Health’s fellowship-trained specialists are nationally renowned for performing complex and routine shoulder surgical procedures using the latest equipment and techniques. They specialize in reverse shoulder replacement, a relatively new procedure for patients with severe shoulder damage.

Dr. Murthi is a leader in advancing the use of minimally-invasive stemless shoulder replacements, which preserve bone and have a faster recovery time and Dr. Jason Stein leads in outpatient shoulder replacements in which patients go home the same day.

MedStar Orthopaedic Institute is also certified by The Joint Commission for spine surgery, hip replacement and knee replacement.

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the largest hand center in the world, focused on the treatment of the hand and upper extremities; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Sports Medicine, which includes the oldest hospital based sports medicine program in Maryland (founded in 1979).  In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement, CARF-accredited in inpatient rehabilitation and Curtis Work Rehabilitation Services, and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

About MedStar Orthopaedic Institute

In Central Maryland, MedStar Orthopaedic Institute combines the skill and expertise of more than 80 physicians at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, The Curtis National Hand Center, and more than 20 community locations, giving you convenient access to the area's top orthopaedic, spine and sports medicine care. Our physicians treat the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Baltimore Blast, Baltimore Brigade, US Lacrosse, and the majority of collegiate, high school and recreational teams in the region. Visit MedStarOrtho.org or call 877-34-ORTHO for an appointment.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]


Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

Thousands of Patients Referred to Substance Use Treatment at MedStar Hospitals

BALTIMORE, Md.—(March 5, 2018)—In the 18 months following MedStar Health’s launch of the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment program known as SBIRT,  more than 3,500 patients struggling with substance abuse have been referred to treatment.

The nationally recognized, evidence-based program rolled out in August 2016 in each of MedStar Health’s four Baltimore hospitals: MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Harbor Hospitals.

As the nation struggles with the opioid epidemic and a spike in fentanyl-related overdoses, emergency departments are often on the front line in treating patients with addiction. These patients often return to the emergency department again and again, and without an interventional program like SBIRT, could see their addiction and overall health worsen.

Under the program, which is conducted in partnership with Mosaic Group, a Maryland healthcare consulting firm, all patients in the emergency department are screened for risky substance abuse behaviors. If the screening indicates a moderate or high risk, a peer recovery coach uses motivational interviewing techniques in an attempt to promote the patient’s own desire to change. The peer recovery coach then offers additional evaluation and referral services for high-risk patients.

Troy Robinson, a peer recovery coach at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, struggled with alcohol abuse and has had family members who have had substance use issues. The peer recovery coaches in the program must have been sober for at least three years and in a support program themselves.

Robinson said her personal experience has made it easier to relate to the patients and offer them the right support.

“It’s more than just ‘let me get you into a peer recovery place,’” Robinson said. “We go over plans, I meet with them. ‘Let’s help you become a better you.’ I really love what I do and it’s helping me grow as a person as well.”

Given its success in the Baltimore MedStar hospitals, the SBIRT program has expanded to other MedStar hospital emergency departments and primary care clinics across the MedStar system. 

The SBIRT program at MedStar is largely funded through grants awarded by Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore.

From August 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017:

SBIRT: MedStar (Adult patients 18+)

Number of SBIRT screens –243,141

Number of positive screens – 31,308

Number of brief interventions – 12,221

Number of referrals to treatment – 3,688

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]


Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

New MedStar Health Program Helps Patients Navigate Community Services

BALTIMORE, Md.—(March 5, 2018)— A program launched by MedStar Health last year has connected some of Baltimore’s most vulnerable residents to hospital-based community health advocates (CHAs) who ensure they receive not only routine primary health care, but vital community services.

The program piloted at MedStar Health’s four Baltimore-area hospitals in July: MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and MedStar Harbor Hospital. There are now 15 full-time community health advocates employed throughout the region, credited with helping hundreds of Baltimore residents find support and resources.

“Social determinants have a significant impact on health outcomes. The new front-line community health advocates for MedStar Health help address this for non-medical challenges which interfere with their overall health,” said Diana Quinn, regional director of community health for MedStar Health. “These associates are members of our communities. They live in the neighborhoods and are well suited to link at-risk patients to those that can help resolve the social need. They serve as the eyes and ears of the hospital and provide ongoing support for social unmet needs, once a patient is discharged.  During home visits, the CHAs make the care teams aware of the persistent and numerous social barriers that our patients face that interfere with their health or getting the care they need.”

“Integrated within each hospital’s care and case management teams, CHAs participate in patient huddles and post-discharge care planning.  The CHAs are seen as a critical part of providing comprehensive patient care, and treating the whole person as part of care delivery. Our community health advocates have been instrumental in making connections to community-based resources to assist with patients’ social needs such as housing, food access, and utility assistance. They also serve as a critical part of supporting patients’ utilization of appropriate health care services,” said Dr. Dawnavan Davis, assistant vice president of community health for MedStar Health. “Their contribution has been and will continue to be significant in addressing the social determinants of health for our patients.”

MedStar Health community health advocates have helped patients who have been threatened with turn-off notices keep their power on. They’ve helped patients receive para-mobility services and aid to retrofit homes with wheelchair ramps and grab bars to increase mobility and independence.

Patients are also connected with a primary care physician if they don’t have one and given information on how to reduce the costs of their prescriptions. In some cases, community health advocates have helped patients sign up for food stamps and connected primary caregiver family members with financial resources.

The Community Health Advocate Program is part of MedStar Health’s commitment to serve the needs of the community in a holistic way. The program is intended to keep patients out of the revolving door of hospital readmissions for chronic conditions and help them navigate a complex web of social services. Community health advocates are hired from the areas they serve, further boosting the connections between community and hospital.

Sherri Harper, a community health advocate at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, called the work a “dream job.” In one case, she was able to help a patient in her eighties have a StairGlide installed in her home and helped the patient obtain a grant toward her energy bills so her service would not be shut off.

“It’s hard for individuals to obtain information on their own because a lot of people are not computer literate,” Harper said. “I can do that for them and make sure we’re getting the right information and they’re being helped the way they need to be helped.”

Rebecca McGougan, a community health advocate at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, describes her job as “missionary work.” She said she had experience in advocating while caring for chronically sick family members. “I’m going to knock every door down until they get the help they need,” she said. “When people come in the hospital it’s not just about their health, it’s about the disparities they’re going through and they don’t know where to look for resources.”

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]


Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

MedStar Union Memorial Ortho-Biologic Lab Research Wins International Award

Zijun Zhang, MD, PhD

BALTIMORE, Md.—(February 23, 2018)—New research from MedStar Union Memorial Hospital that found injecting stem cells into the bloodstream may help bone grafts heal better with fewer fractures and infection, earned first place recognition in the 13th World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS) in Miami, Jan. 26th, where 1500 attendees from 35 countries represented the science of regenerative medicine.

MedStar Union Memorial’s investigative team, led by Zijun Zhang, MD, PhD, the director of the Orthobiologic Laboratory in the Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, and Lew Schon, MD, chief of Foot and Ankle Services, discovered that injecting stem cells intravenously into mice that had received bone grafts, led to nearly twice as much formation of callus, the healing tissue that forms around the ends of broken bone.

“I’m very encouraged,” Zhang said. “The big advantage of this approach is that it’s not very invasive and the cells can be given multiple times.”

Dr. Zhang’s team used a bone allograft, or bone from living or deceased donor. Bone allograft is used in more than 1 million cases annually in the United States and Europe and is especially useful when a large portion of bone is needed.

Lew Schon, MD

Most allograft comes from cadavers. The bone undergoes a vigorous wash and sterilization before being stored in a deep freeze of -80 Celsius, to destroy all living cells. The allograft then is effectively dead, a consequence that increases the risk of the bone not bonding to the patient’s bone, fractures, infections and poor healing.

The treatment with the stem cells helps regenerate new bone on top of the donor bone, Dr. Zhang said.

Stem cells are often spread on the bone allograft before it’s transplanted into the body, but the researchers wanted to explore whether continuing to introduce stem cells into the body as it healed slowly over weeks or months would be more effective.

The researchers first gave the mice femur bone allografts. The allografts were coated with three different substances, alone or in combination with each other, to draw the stem cells to the new bone.

The researchers then gave the mice mesenchymal stem cells, which are adult stem cells found in bone marrow, intravenously at weeks one, two and three post-surgery. They found that the most effective therapy involved the intravenous stem cells and two substances that helped attract them to the bone, stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) and platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB).

The research is supported by a grant from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund.

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital 

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the only hand center designated by Congress as The National Center for the Treatment of Hand and Upper Extremity; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Union Memorial Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, the oldest hospital based Sports Medicine Program in Maryland (founded in 1979).  In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement, CARF-accredited in inpatient rehabilitation and Curtis Work Rehabilitation Services, and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital Earns Five-Star Rating from CMS

BALTIMORE—(January 4, 2018) —MedStar Union Memorial Hospital has earned five stars- the highest possible rating- from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Hospital Compare, a program designed to give consumers an overall review of quality of care. Only ten percent of the nation’s hospitals can claim the achievement.

Hospital Compare summarizes up to 57 quality measures in categories of mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care and efficient use of medical imaging. They are measured on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest, and three being the national average score. CMS provides the data on its Hospital Compare website so that patients and families can make a side by side comparison when weighing the performance of hospitals they might choose for medical care.

MedStar Union Memorial rated above the national average in safety of care, readmissions and the efficient use of medical imaging.

“Hospital Compare is one tool in the tool box for patients and families to use when making decisions about where to go for healthcare,” said Bradley S. Chambers, president of MedStar Union Memorial, and Senior Vice President at MedStar Health. “We’re very proud of this achievement, especially as a high reliability organization, where we strive for transparent and consistent excellence in quality and safety for every patient, every day. This is a tremendous recognition which we can’t understate.”

The overall rating shows how well each hospital performed, on average, compared to other hospitals in the U.S.

Click here to learn more about the CMS Hospital Compare.

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the only hand center designated by Congress as The National Center for the Treatment of Hand and Upper Extremity; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Union Memorial Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, the oldest hospital based Sports Medicine Program in Maryland (founded in 1979).  In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). It is the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial is also TJC-certified in hip and knee replacement, CARF-accredited in inpatient rehabilitation and Curtis Work Rehabilitation Services, and has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional health care system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-2496
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]